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RECAP: #7 Gee-Gees tough out win against Varsity Blues

Gee-Gees players at the net.
Seyran Mammadov.

The U SPORTS seventh-ranked Gee-Gees men's basketball team extended their win streak to eight games after defeating the Toronto Varsity Blues by a 77-71 margin on Saturday afternoon at the Goldring Centre in Toronto. The Gee-Gees now sit with a 9-2 record move within striking distance of the Ryerson Rams for second place in the OUA East.

Third-year forward Gage Sabean led all five Gee-Gees starters, each of whom scored in double figures. Sabean hit five three-pointers en route to a 19-point performance. Brandon Robinson had 15 points in the win, Mackenzie Morrison was just behind with 14, followed by Calvin Epsitola's 11, and Guillaume Pépin's 10 point, 11 rebound double-double.

As a team, the Gee-Gees shot 48.1 per cent from the field, a margin they improved greatly on after shooting a paltry 35.7 per cent in the first half. The Gee-Gees shot 62.5 per cent from the field in the second half, meanwhile shooting the same 35.7 per cent, this time from beyond the arc.

The Gee-Gees got off to a very slow start, with Toronto jumping out to a 7-0 lead, eventually pushing their lead to 11 early in the matchup. Down 32-28 at halftime, the Gee-Gees offence started heating up, ultimately leading to outscoring the Varsity Blues 30-22 in the final frame to secure the win.

In the dying minutes of the game the Varsity Blues smartly began fouling and were able to claw their way back into the game. Toronto put up a valiant fight behind the performance of guard Christopher Barrett, who scored a game-high 23 points. Morrison put an exclamation point on the game with a one-handed breakaway jam at the final buzzer.

Third-year guard Olivier Cadieux made his regular season debut after sitting out of the first semester after a foot injury. The NCAA Division I transfer finished with two points and two rebounds in 13 minutes, although rusty, the Montreal native looked confident and defended well. The re-addition of Cadieux will look to give the Gee-Gees another strong offensive option and minutes relief from a heavily worked starting lineup.

Ottawa will take on the U SPORTS second-ranked Ryerson Rams (10-1) on Sunday afternoon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. from Coca-Cola Court in downtown Toronto, the game will be streamed live on OUA.tv